Juana Romani, model turned painter

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Juana Romani (1867 - 1923/24) was born with the name Carolina Carlesimo in Italy. Her mother brought her to Paris, where she began working as an artist model as a child.

She decided to pursue an art career herself, studying with Ferdinand Roybet and Jean-Jacques Henner.

Salomé by Juana Romani
She became known for her portraits of female subjects.


The influence of Henner and Roybet can be seen in the soft frontal lighting, which melts into profound shadows at the edges of the form. She painted directly on the canvas without much preliminary sketching.


Unfortunately her last years were not happy. She suffered from mental illness and lived in a psychiatric hospital, where she died forgotten.
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Book: Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900
Juana Romani on Wikipedia 

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